Hasegawa 1/48 F-16CJ (Block 50/52) Fighting Falcon Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2007||Manufacturer||Hasegawa|
|Subject||F-16CJ (Block 50/52) Fighting Falcon||Scale||1/48|
|Kit Number||06110||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Easy build, great external details||Cons||Simple cockpit detail|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$33.00|
For a brief history of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, go here.
For a description of the F-16 family and the various differences between versions, go here.
Once upon a time, the only kits of the F-16 Fighting Falcon 'out there' in 1/48 scale were various representations of the YF-16/pre-Block 15 F-16A, Block 15 A-model, and the Block 25/32 F-16C. What did they all have in common? They all used the same narrow-mouth inlet and exhaust nozzle. The Block 15 required new stabilators and the early C-model needed those Block 15 stabilators and a new vertical stabilizer. This commonality allowed the same set of tooling to crank out numerous releases of the early Vipers.
Hasegawa developed the nicest tooling of the F-16 in this scale, but their selection was limited to the Block 10, Block 15, and Block 25/32 aircraft. One day about seven years ago, Hasegawa changed all of that. They would be the first to market with a late-model Viper in any scale, and that was this kit, the Block 50/52 Viper.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on eleven parts trees, plus a single tree of clear parts. Since the F-16 molds are among Hasegawa's "bread and butter" offerings, they get quite a bit of use, so as you'll note in the images to the right, there is a hint of mold flash here and there typical of mold wear. Nevertheless, the molding is crisp and features finely scribed details. Of course these molds pre-date the current trend of exaggerated recessed rivets.
Straight out of the box, this kit is the best in 1/48 (though we'll see what Tamiya offers up with their release of their scaled-down 1/32 masterpiece). Upon opening the box, you'll find the standard trees used in every other F-16 kit previously released including:
- Single-seat fuselage
- Standard wings and Block 15 stabilators
- Underwing pylons and AIM-9L/M Sidewinders
- Narrow-mouth inlet and Pratt & Whitney F100 engine nozzle
- GE engine nozzle (the early Block 30s retained the narrow-mouth inlet with their GE engines, so Hasegawa upgraded some of their kits with the GE nozzle)
- Accurate external fuel tanks
In addition, there are several new trees that contain:
- The widemouth inlet for the GE engine (the normal inlet and the GE and Pratt nozzles are still in the kit)
- The RWR antennas that mount on the leading edges of the wing
- Two new (and detailed) AIM-120 AMRAAMS
- Two new wingtip launch rails for the AMRAAMs
- Two AGM-88 HARMs w/correct launch rails
- Two new wide main gear wheels and bulged main gear doors
- Two HTS pods (only one needed, so you get a spare)
- Two new pilots heads w/the current issue lightweight helmets to replace the older "bone dome" helmets previously used (and still included in the kit). Again, only one is used (if at all), so there is at least one spare for another modern aircraft project!
- The unique Block 40/42/50/52 taxi/landing lights on the nose gear door
The only problems that I found were:
- The canopy still retains the mold seam down the centerline present in earlier releases of the F-16
- The cockpit is representative of the older block F-16s. (This one is not a big problem as Black Box (now Avionix) and Aires have released beautiful replacement cockpits for this kit
This kit has been released numerous times with different decals in each release. The decals we have in our releases are nicely printed and very usable.
I was very happy to see this kit when it was first released over seven years ago. It would be nice to see Hasegawa do a refresh of the aircraft to address the CCIP, Sniper, Litening, GPS, and other upgrades to the airframe. Nevertheless, you have several decades of subjects to choose from with the kit as-is!
This kit remains highly recommended!